Archive for the ‘The Land I Use’ Category

The Land I Use: Making an Environmental Inventory of East Chicago

April 6th, 2010 3 comments

Categories: The Land I Use

The Land I Use: Hazardous Waste Wells On The Southern Shores

March 25th, 2010 5 comments

[ IDEM’s ] site description of ArcelorMittal

via [ Post-Trib ] “Toxic disposal talk gets deep – Underground injection a matter of trust” By Gitte Laasby

PORTAGE — When federal officials allow companies to inject hazardous waste deep into the ground, they take the companies’ word for what kind of waste is disposed and that it isn’t leaking, a federal official admitted Wednesday night.

ArcelorMittal wants to add a new underground injection well at its Burns Harbor plant to dispose of hazardous waste for the next 10 years. The company also wants to continue to use three existing wells, where it disposes of millions of gallons of hazardous waste annually from ArcelorMittal plants.


  1. What obligations does ArcelorMittal have towards future land uses of this highly valuable and ecologically sensitive property on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, a few steps away from the Indiana Dunes National Shoreline and the Little Calumet River?
  2. Is this not the perfect situation for exercising the “Precautionary Principle?”
  3. Does this not serve as an example of the extraordinary where-with-all of vested interests against the humble capacity of a public trying to ensure they live in a safe and vital community?

[ EPA Fact sheet and Public Notice – pdf ]

(Sometimes these maps need a little clarifying. The Deep wells are only a few steps away from the Indiana Dunes National Shoreline and the Little Calumet Rivers. One of the most bio-sensitive and diverse areas in the country, and one of the most impaired.)

“ArcelorMittal has three injection wells operating at 250 W. U.S. Highway 12 in Burns Harbor. These wells inject waste from a steelmaking process known as “steel pickling” and waste ammonia liquor, a product of cokemaking.”

Read more…

Categories: The Land I Use

The Land I Use {Regional Rats}: Lead Contamination in My Community

December 8th, 2009 2 comments

~17% of my neighbors live on contaminated land. ~17 East Chicago’s residential properties are part of a Superfund Site. After more than 20-years of knowledge of the real potential for contamination, and clearing the legal slate of PRPs (prior responsible parties) the site was placed on the National Priority List (NPL) in March 2009.

via [ Post-Tribune ] “EPA Testing Soil for Lead Contamination” By Gitte Laasby

EAST CHICAGO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is collecting soil samples in East Chicago to find out whether residential yards are contaminated with lead.

The residences are located between East Chicago Avenue and 151st Street and between Aster and Parrish avenues near one of the most contaminated sites in the nation, the former U.S. Smelter and Lead Refinery Inc. site at 5300 Kennedy Ave.

The EPA began collecting samples from front and back yards Monday and will continue for about two weeks. The soil samples are free to residents and all work is done outside the homes.

The EPA held an informational session to explain the testing process and answer questions about the site Monday and will hold another one today.

EPA will also hold a meeting on Dec. 17, to update the community about sampling and clean-up plans. Representatives from EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management will be available to answer questions.

The U.S. Smelter site was added to the EPA’s Superfund list in early September. The list contains the most toxic sites in the nation that pose a risk to health and the environment.

The site and residential properties north of it are contaminated with lead. The lead was most likely dispersed from long-removed smokestacks while the business operated between 1920 and 1985. The company recovered lead from car batteries.

In July 2008, EPA removed lead-contaminated soil from 15 homes near the site. Exposure to high levels of lead can cause developmental problems and lower intelligence in young children. Lead exposure can also increase blood pressure in middle-aged men, according to IDEM.